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When Is a Car Considered Totaled?

When Is a Car Considered Totaled?

A car is typically considered totaled when it sustains such extensive damage that it is not practical or safe to repair. Depending on local regulations, the threshold at which a car is declared totaled might vary; however, in many cases the cost of repairs must exceed a certain percentage of the car’s overall value for it to be considered totaled.

In some cases, a specific part of the vehicle must take severe damage within a certain financial threshold in order for the entire car to be deemed beyond fixing and therefore labeled as ‘totaled’. Whether a car is indicated as repairable or to be ‘totaled’ following an accident also depends upon insurance carrier guidelines and other pertinent laws.

What Does It Mean When a Car Is Considered Totaled?

When a car is considered totaled, it means that the cost to repair it is greater than the actual value of the car itself. This determination can be arrived at in a few different ways, such as when an insurance company puts a claim through or when an outside appraiser takes a look at the car.

In most cases, if the cost of taxes, registration and repair still exceed 50 percent of the value of the car when it was in performing condition, the insurance company can deem it “totaled.” After a car is declared totaled, owners must decide whether to keep their vehicle by paying for all repairs out-of-pocket or selling off any salvageable parts and moving on.

How Does Insurance Manage Totaled Vehicles?

When a vehicle is considered a total loss, insurance companies have a few options available to them. Generally, insurers will take the repair costs estimated for an accident and compare that to the actual cash value of the totaled car. If the costs exceed the value of the vehicle, it will be declared a total loss and an insurance company may choose to keep possession of it.

Depending on local laws, they can usually then sell it to salvage yards in order to recoup some of their losses. Insurance firms are obligated to notify owners of any such process after a car has been designated as totaled; however, not all insurers do this in practice. In many places recourse against them is only obtainable if their policy dictates its necessity.

Ultimately, how insurance manages totaled vehicles is thus based on both local legal requirements and individual insurer preferences.

Biren Law Group is ready to help you. Call us today (310) 896-4345.